Will Richardson has a bad day

Will Richardson is usually is a pretty upbeat guy. But this post might make you think otherwise. He’s a bit frustrated as we all are at times. It may have been a bad day. The Monday morning quarterback in me would guess it had something to do with the encounter with a teacher he mentions later in the post. Whatever the reason, he makes some great points:

there are thousands of teachers, tens of thousands in fact, who are already using the tools with their students. I see new examples every day. But I’m still bothered by the fact that very, very rarely do I see new pedagogies to go along with them that prepare students for the creation of their own learning networks.

That’s why I spend time showing cupboards. But teachers want to get their hands on these tools for the same reason they want to go to a conference and find that one thing they can implement in their classroom tomorrow. When teachers see blogs and think it would be a great way to post my newsletter, I’ll say, “Yes, you can do that but that’s not really what blogs can do“. It’s like using … Read the rest

Seeing Progress

I posted about my blogging and administrators last week and already small but significant ripples are showing.

We did have one principal who started to blog. I’ve had some conversations with him and promoted his blog during my talk. This is a copy of the email sent out by one of our superintendents.

Hi everyone, I am forwarding an e-mail to you (all school administrators) that I received from Alan Stange. It contains a link to a blog he has developed for Central Butte School. He discussed it with the group during Dean’s presentation at the last Administrators’ forum. Notice how quickly Alan is able to get information out to the community. The information regarding criminal record checks was just sent out to schools this morning.

Included below are some of Alan’s comments:

These weblogs take the mystery out of all the web page mumbo jumbo. If I want to add something simple I just email the information to the blog like I am emailing this to you. If I want more complicated formatting or a picture I seem to have to sign into the blog and post it there. We had a web page and lost it when

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Podcast 20…Blogging with Administrators

I spoke to about 80 school based and senior administrators last week about blogging. I only recorded the first 12 minutes but the link to the slides has all the slides.

The focus of my talk was on creating connections. Evidence that my talk resonated was the fact that after I invited them to begin reading conversations using Bloglines, over 30 of them requested invites. Now like anything, I’m not sure all will make this part of their routine but even if 10 begin reading the conversations that are taking place, it’s going to make a difference.

The audio ends at slide 22 of 44.… Read the rest

Which is easier 100,000 wikis for teachers or 100 blogs for principals?

Scott McLeod over at Dangerously Irrelevant is starting a campaign to get 100 principals to blog in 100 days. A few weeks ago, wikipsaces issued a challenge to give out 100,000 wikis to teachers. I think they’re at about 14,000.

I’m wondering which is the more realistic goal?  Wikis can easily be used and justified as throw aways, that is used for a brief or specific purpose and not used again. I personally have about 15-20 wikis on the go. Blogs can be throw aways as well but I think Scott is looking for principals who will take up blogging as part of their practice.

I’ve been searching for these pioneers as well. Currently, my school division has only one blogging principal that I know of. Principals are busy people. Blogging is a bit like starting an exercise regime. You might think it’s good for you but it seems tough to fit it into your schedule. Many or most aren’t even at the point where they see the benefit.

I’m skeptical of this project succeeding. Prove me wrong.

Here’s the project page with all the details

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Too many consultants?

I sat in a meeting of teachers today when someone in the crowd made reference to a clause about consultants and made the statement that she felt “there were too many consultants anyway”.

This made me upset for two reasons:

  1. I wouldn’t want to suggest, espescially in public that I felt a school or some other area of the division was overstaffed.
  2. More importantly, it upsets me because it reflects an attitude that exists that would suggest that solving the challenges of education lies in increasing the number of teachers.

I believe that the role of the consultant is largely two fold;support teachers in the classroom with their current situations but also to present possibilites, ideas and support for change.

I’m certain a survey of teachers would reveal that few would suggest that the current model of education is in a good state. Everyone’s talking about the changing student, the changing world and the lack of change in education. This conversation is taking place as much outside the blogosphere as it is in it.

It’s clear that we need to continue to help teachers see the need for change and that the solution is much more complicated and involved than … Read the rest